Latkes (Potato Pancakes) Recipe
Latkes (Potato Pancakes)
Latkes, also known as potato pancakes, are a Jewish dish enjoyed on Hanukkah when it is traditional to eat foods fried in oil. This is to commemorate the oil that burned for 8 days, central to the Hanukkah story. Enjoy them as a snack, wrapped in a napkin, or pile on the sour cream and applesauce.
- 4 pounds russet potatoes
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, plus more as needed
- Extra virgin olive oil, for shallow frying
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- Sour cream
- Peel potatoes and grate (on large or small holes) into a large bowl. Immediately toss with lemon juice to prevent potato from oxidizing.
- Transfer potatoes to a clean dish towel and squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Return drained potato to bowl.
- Add onion, eggs and 1/2 cup flour. Toss to evenly coat. Check consistency by grabbing a handful of mixture and squeezing it into a ball. It should clump together but remain relatively loose. If too wet, add an additional 1-2 tablespoons flour.
- In a large skillet, pour enough olive oil to fully cover bottom of pan. Place over medium-high heat. Once oil begins to shimmer, gently place 1/2-cup mounds of mixture into pan. Use the back of a spatula to gently flatten into circles. Sprinkle each with salt and pepper.
- Fry 3 to 4 minutes until golden. Carefully flip, using two utensils if necessary. Flatten with the back of a spatula. Season the second side. Continue cooking, undisturbed, until crispy.
- Remove and drain on a wire rack. May be kept warm in a 200°F oven. Continue until all have been fried.
- Serve warm with sour cream and applesauce.
- Cook’s Tips:
- Many recipes for latkes call for grating the onion. We prefer slicing in order to match the shape of the potato shreds. This makes latkes with craggy, crispy edges and lovely bits of caramelized onion throughout.
- The batter will seem loose, but will hold together when fried. The key is to let the latkes cook undisturbed until completely brown on each side. Avoid adding too much binder or they will be heavy.
- Latkes take time to make, but they’re worth it – and, you can make them in advance. Once made and cooled, refrigerate or freeze. When ready to eat, reheat and crisp in an air fryer or oven.